This is our world

Yes in our world UK there are people living on less than 4 pounds per day.

Saving up to go to the hairdresser or a restaurant treat. No I do not think so.

Perhaps trying to find enough money to make a spagetti sauce and a couple of cups of tea each day.It still seeems mad to realise that this is the poverty which some of us face and some people in the banking world are earning millions each day.

It is like Monopoly money...

It is Monopoly as the players are fearless in their activities and ....perhaps untouchable?

Is it not time to take away that get out of jail free card?

Ah yes the chocolate man who made everyone happy.

Good product, great revenue and took care of his workers.

If only we had more people this.

The fact that the Engels family sent Friedrich to work for the Ermen and Engels' Victoria Mill in Manchester which made sewing threads was to wean him off the kind of ideas the Cadbury, Lever, Fry and other Quakers and philanthropists had started by showing him how industry should be. Instead, once he met his partner Mary Burns and she showed him Salford, etc, he provided the grounds for persuading Karl Marx to leave Paris to go to England. Marx was a democrat, as he always claimed himself, but once he saw the poverty and the working classes he had not seen (although they existed) in France and also the Bourneville and Leverhume workers settlements, plus Lever's scholarships for research and education that were aimed at raising the standards of living, Marx began to think more radically. It has been so easy to discredit every word of Das Kapital and Proudhon's principle of federation and idea that property is theft because of the bad models there have been in between that the real messages are no longer being updated to fit today, which they should be rather than taking the 19th century values. Philanthropy was the basis of those ideas and the entire philoposophy incomparable with what it was turned into by the likes of Stalin, Mao and so on.

Philanthropy is poo-pooed as do-gooding, but the $31 billion from Warren Buffett to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which now worth at least $35 billion with a big donation programme is no laughing matter. Most of that though is going to developing nations where the need is greater, but having said that something needs to happen on our own doorsteps. There is at least the same amount of charitable money elsewhere, none or little of it generally aimed at Europe. If this continent goes under then it is going to take many decades to pick it back up again and no doubt all the capital held by the very wealthy will be carted off somewhere else so will contribute nothing to aid recovery. I can go on for hours, but then many of us who have worked in the developing world can deliver long, long diatribes of similar tenor.

I too am for enterprise for survival, to remain a free spirit and working convinces me

that I am still young enough to do so.

My heart is already broken by the very fact that money has taken over where love once lived.

Yes Andrew, agree with Brian - very succinct way of putting it.

Absolutely - enterprise should never be associated with greed. I don't know all of the examples, but I remember from a geography lesson years ago - the one where I must have been paying attention - the story of the likes of the Lever brothers or the Bournevilles who built houses and towns for their workers (now we still have those towns Bourneville (chocolate) and Leverhume (now Unilever products).

I think I heard on the news yesterday that an industrial is doing the same thing now, providing social, affordable housing for his workers. I hope it's true. Some may say regression to the industrial revolution, I say very positive groundbreaking move, that has been done before.

Love that expression Andrew, I shall cite it some time or other I think (you'll get an endnote at least, I don't steal these things). Nick, yes right, cut a Diamond often enough and all that remains is dust.

It is exactly why, apart from what my work has shown me, I have become more and more like the idealistic 19th century socialists as I have got older. It was inequality and injustice that Proudhon, Marx and the International were essentially concerned with. What happened thereafter has distorted that message and all our Soviet Unions, China and so on have never done a little thing to change that balance. Remember years ago, if you are old enough, the impact on the serious socialist thinking world of Christina Onassis, daughter of Aristotle O, marrying Sergei Kauzov who was a Russian (soviet Union) shipping magnate at the end of the 1970s when the notion of rich soviet citizens did not exist. Many people who had retained faith in Sovietism just gave up. That was one man, but the message was that there must be more and therewith the promise of an egalitarian society rendered null and void.

The world is extremely hypocritical in its carefully balanced maintenace of the rich-poor divide. I have worked in countries where although their wealthy ghettoes are surrounded by shanty towns, the very rich will still deny the existence of the impoverished masses in their country. After several years work in Peru my eyes were prepared for the rest of the world and countries I have since worked in like India, Ethiopia and Kenya (amongst many others) have imprinted a disdain for the dichotomy deep inside me. Enterprise I respect, greed I do not. Nick, I have cried my eyes out many times.

It's one of those strange ones Andrew. I can't get that one fleeting image out of my head - I beat myself up about it that I didn't do anything to help, but what could I really do to help that family and the millions of others that come after them ?

very poignant Nick, with you on this one, it's a jungle out there when it should be a zoo, if you get my meaning ;-)

yes...but Robin Banks looks as though he is about to get his cumuppance

The real world is very sad.

But we no longer have Robin Hood....

The big divide between rich and poor. One of my biggest bugbears. I'm not going to harp on about, but I for one would give up all I have, if everyone else would do the same, and put it all into a communal pot. I am under no illusion that that will never happen.

I was at a rugby club clean up session a couple of Sundays ago (ie cleaning up after the party the night before) and speaking to one of the committee members, he said something that really hit home. We have the luxury to choose what and when we eat.

I live in Paris and quite often go jogging early morning. You want to see some of the injustice I see - simply caused by greed, money and the unequal distribution of wealth.

In March, 5am, one morning, a very cold, dark and very wet morning, I ran past one of the big Paris department stores, only to see one of the store operatives turfing out a family of two adults and three very young children, from a doorway where they had obviously spent the night.

I'm not going to get into the polemic debate of where they came from and why they were there - the point and this I will hammer home - all seven people involved in that scene, me, the operative and the family are all citizens of this world and should all have an equal a right as each other. I re-run that scene in my head from time to time whenever I see injustice. Just about every time it makes me want to cry, the sheer crushing reality of the indifference of humans to their fellow man.

Barbara, the £4 a day people exist here too, for instance hereabouts are farmers who were broke to begin with but this year their crops have failed and they face ruin. I think some have a €0 per day income and with their usual sensitivity banks will call in their debts soon. More disposessed farmers, land that will no partly go to scrub, other land bought up by farmers who are lucky enough to expand and sometimes developers to hold in their land stock. The money, if at all any, from the resale of the land will go to the banks. What will farmers, especially those with families, have? Minimal social security and a record of bankruptcy which will block them ever having credit again, so no way back.

Andrew is quite right, without day to day banking the 'real world' economy around us would die very quickly. The city bankers with their massive loans, investments and the famous bonuses are gambling with our money or giving it away and central or national banks just have to regulate some of this. We shall see in the near future. For all of that, if those big banks in the city go under then entire economies will go with them and the people with little or no income will be left with an empty cup asking for alms on the streets and none of us will be able to afford to give them a cent!

But without the "normal" day to day banking system the economy dies! Agree what you say about the city type banking ;-)